Despite claims that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was becoming obsolete, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated its enduring relevance. When industries were downsizing due to the pandemic’s impact, the SEO job market saw a surge. The 2020 SEO Jobs Report by Backlinko highlighted an increase in LinkedIn SEO job postings during the pandemic. This spike was attributed to businesses transitioning online amid shutdowns. With Google continuously refining its search experience (making over 5,000 changes in 2021 alone), the demand for SEO professionals is poised to grow further.
A whopping one billion websites are vying for visibility in Google search results worldwide. This recognition of SEO’s value translates to ample opportunities for SEO experts to select clients that align with their expertise. As Google’s algorithm enhancements continue, the availability of SEO positions is likely to expand.
For those considering entering the SEO industry, the present moment offers an optimal starting point. This article provides an in-depth exploration of the responsibilities of SEO professionals, delves into common SEO job titles, and outlines the path to becoming an SEO expert.
An SEO professional, often referred to as an SEO specialist, possesses a deep understanding of search engine algorithms. This expertise empowers them to assist clients in achieving higher rankings on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Depending on the scale of a website, an organization may employ a single subject matter expert or a team of SEO specialists. Ideally, these teams comprise members with diverse skill sets that complement each other. This can include SEO content writers, developers, and strategists.
SEO specialists can choose to work as independent consultants, within SEO agencies, or as full-time members of a company’s in-house content and digital marketing teams.
Becoming an SEO professional is not confined to a linear trajectory. The Backlinko report reveals that 64.3% of SEO jobs do not require specific degree qualifications. Many SEO experts initiate their journey by working on personal websites and learning along the way, supplementing their knowledge with relevant courses.
While some technical SEO job titles may demand degrees in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Data Science, these qualifications do not guarantee success in the industry. Entry-level positions may not be the starting point for everyone. Some professionals transition from fields like digital marketing or paid media, gaining experience through internships with seasoned SEO specialists.
The present landscape enables swifter acquisition of SEO credentials, as SEO is now often integrated into various digital marketing online courses. Courses offered by Google, Ahrefs Academy, Moz Academy, HubSpot Academy, and SEMRush Academy provide valuable training. While certifications are accepted by many companies, having a tangible project showcasing one’s skills enhances the chance of securing a preferred SEO position.
Importantly, SEO proficiency involves both theoretical knowledge and practical experience.
SEO professionals commonly possess skills in data analytics, link building, programming (including HTML), competitor analysis, and keyword research. In addition to these technical skills, soft skills like writing and research are invaluable. Familiarity with tools such as Moz, Ahrefs, Google Analytics, and SEMRush is also expected.
SEO job titles vary based on factors like an organization’s size, team structure, service offerings, and needs. For instance, businesses with smaller teams may not emphasize certain roles that larger enterprises do. Some common SEO job titles and their responsibilities include:
SEO Leadership: Overseeing the overarching SEO strategy, aligning it with company goals, and collaborating with cross-functional teams.
Content SEO: Optimizing website content for search engines while delivering value to users. This involves keyword research, content briefs, and adherence to best practices.
Technical SEO: Ensuring a website’s optimal functionality for search engine crawlers, encompassing aspects like indexing, page speed, and mobile responsiveness.
Link Builders: Focusing on acquiring quality backlinks from authoritative websites, bolstering a website’s authority and SERP rankings.
SEO Developers/Programmers: Managing technical aspects of websites, including design, maintenance, and deployment of SEO strategies.
The enduring relevance of SEO positions during the pandemic underscores the industry’s resilience and importance. As Google continues its algorithmic advancements, the demand for skilled SEO professionals is anticipated to rise. Entering the SEO field offers a world of opportunities, with a diverse range of job titles and functions to explore. Whether guiding clients through SEO strategies or optimizing websites for search engines, the role of an SEO specialist remains indispensable in the ever-evolving digital landscape.